Two men, both 23, Majid Reza Rahnavard and Mohsen Shekari, were hanged in December after being charged with ‘moharebe’, a broad term meaning waging war against God, in connection with the major uprisings led by women and girls involved in the nation last year.
Amnesty’s report comes as the number of executions in Iran has skyrocketed over the past five months. At least 209 people have been executed since January, according to the United Nations.
“On average, more than 10 people a week are being executed in Iran so far this year, making it one of the world’s top performers,” United Nations human rights chief Volker Türk said in a statement this month.
“The numbers are appalling,” said Sanam Vakil, the director of the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House, a research organization in Britain. She said the executions, especially of young people, were “intended to send a very clear and clear message that dissent will not be tolerated.”
The Amnesty report also noted a significant increase in executions in Kuwait, Myanmar and the Gaza Strip. But the global rise has been countered by more signs of governments around the world moving away from the death penalty. Four countries, the Central African Republic, Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea and Sierra Leone, have abolished the death penalty for all crimes.
For the 14th straight year, the United States was the only country to execute people in America, with 18 executions — the fewest by the nation since 1991. New death sentences and public support for the death penalty also remained at their lowest levels in decades, according to a report of the Death Penalty Information Center, a non-profit organization that opposes the death penalty.
Vivian Nereim reporting contributed.